Tips on Dealing With the Culture Shock of College

July 10, 2014
July 10, 2014 ACS

The time is quickly approaching for those who recently graduated from high school to begin their journey into college. And even though you think you might be prepared, the next four years or more will offer a variety of challenges.

College freshmen and parents alike need to understand that attending college can have a “culture shock” effect, and if both the soon to be freshman and mom or dad are well prepared, things will go more smoothly.

However, surviving this college culture shock is not easy. A recent article by writer Brian O’Connell gives tips on how to best be “emotionally” ready for that first year of college.

Health expert and award-winning author Barb Dehn says, “It’s vitally important for parents to help prepare their kids in as many ways for the culture change on campus so that [their son or daughter] aren’t overwhelmed by the totality of new experiences that can leave them adrift, feeling overwhelmed and lost.”

In his article, O’Connell explains that according to Dehn, students need to understand how to eat correctly, get the appropriate amount of sleep needed, practice good study habits, and stay active by getting involved with campus organizations, clubs, or intramural sports.

In addition, Dehn informs students and their parents to visit the university’s health care facility on campus. This will probably be the first time in the student’s life that they have gone to a doctor or visited an emergency room without mom or dad. Students may also need help in filling out prescriptions and completing health paperwork and by doing this, the student will feel more comfortable when he or she needs to go alone.

Dehn also suggests possibly taking a self-defense class to feel more reassured in a new environment.

Another important thing Dehn emphasizes is communication skills. Yes, you know how to communicate, but are you good at being your own advocate away from mom and dad? You should understand that you will need excellent communication skills in dealing with your roommates, your professors, and all of the people you will have interaction with while at college.

Dehn adds, “Living in close quarters with a roommate or in a crowded dorm provides ample opportunities for students to discover themselves. Learning how to negotiate with roommates, friends, and professors will benefit [the student] greatly during [his or her] college years.”

If you have any questions about the college experience, please contact us as we offer a variety of programs that will best prepare you for your college journey.



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